Olivers Cottage Kitchen

We had the opportunity to work on a kitchen renovation project for a previous client looking update their kitchen in a small cottage on their property.

The client was eager for a refresh, and we delivered a complete revamp of the space, maximising its usability and efficiency.

This involved careful planning and design to make the most of every available inch in the kitchen.

Apart from the original terracotta tiled floor, it was all new featuring modern appliances, Arena Stone worktops and hand painted in a wonderful navy blue. New LED lights and eco-friendly paints all came together to produce a stunning compact kitchen.

If you would like to discover how Stephen Graver can transform your space, contact our team today: 01380 871746 or sales@stephengraver.com

The Lodge Garden Room & Renovation

We were delighted to be approached to tender for the renovation building works and creation of a garden room at The Lodge; for which we were successfully awarded the contract to undertake both projects.

Garden Room

The proposed garden room at the rear of the property was a combination of a steel frame and conventional construction; with a flat, lead roll roof. The glass doors and windows were powder-coated aluminium.

The challenge was that access to the rear of the house was very limited. We decided to make an opening in the rear wall of The Lodge and create a scaffold ramp down onto the garden, with this in place excavation of the foundations could begin.

The new garden room was built 50% below ground level. Structural concrete retaining wall with an integrated damp proofing tanking system was installed. The outcome was a great success and a great addition to the main house.

Renovation

Once the garden room project to the main house was nearing completion, we were able to begin the work renovating The Lodge.

A new roof had to be formed to The Lodge, this was a vaulted style and incorporated structural steel to enable construction. A full central heating system was installed along with full electrical rewire, formation of a third bathroom, new kitchen, complete re-décor, and new oak floors throughout.

The external work consisted of removing existing concrete hardstanding and laying reclaimed pennant slabs to create a beautiful courtyard.

The overall outcome of both projects was an exemplary finished standard which the clients are delighted with.

If you would like to discover how Stephen Graver can transform your space, contact our team today: 01380 871746 or sales@stephengraver.com

How to choose a bathroom vanity unit

It may not be something that you’ve given a great deal of thought to before, however, vanity units are a vital part of a bathroom design. Not only are they important from a practical point of view ­– providing a great deal of storage in a potentially heavily used part of the house; they also create an opportunity to establish a point of interest within the design scheme of the room.

So, where do you start?

1. Drawers, Shelves or cupboards

As with kitchen design, the trend over the recent years has increasingly been to introduce more drawer storage in place of the shelves and cupboards. Drawers offer the benefit of concealed storage that enables you to easily access all the items from above. However, taller items may not fit if the drawers are not deep enough, such as cleaning products, and they can be more easily knocked over compared to the shelving / cupboards.

2. Floor-standing or wall-mounted

Wall-mounted units leave the floor space free, creating the optical illusion of a bigger bathroom. Floor-standing enables you to have a bigger unit and is also beneficial if you are concerned of the strength of the wall.

3. Countertop or under-mounted basin

For many, the choice between the countertop and under-mounted basin is purely aesthetic. There are so many beautiful basins to choose from, and they alone can act as a feature. However, it’s worth considering that a countertop basin can prove to be a little messier with splashing, particularly if wet shaving; and some find them trickier to clean than their under-mounted basin counterparts. With this in mind, you will need to consider which countertop surface will be best suited to your choice.

4. Countertop surface material

As a heavily used area with much water exposure and cleaning products, we would recommend choosing a smooth and hardwearing material such as stone of quartz. This will provide the most longevity for your bathroom unit and be the easiest to maintain. Wood or tiling with grout, while attractive initially, will wear sooner and require more maintenance.

5. Lighting

Adding decorative lighting to the bathroom can transform the space and really accentuate the overall scheme. Adding lighting to both the mirror and vanity unit provides both a practical benefit and high impact. It works particularly well to light underneath the vanity unit, creating a beautiful up-lighting effect. We would recommend a separate switch for the feature lights to the main lights to enable you to choose between different lighting moods.

If you would like to discover how Stephen Graver can transform your space, contact our team today: 01380 871746 or sales@stephengraver.com

The benefits of granite worktops

Are you in search of the perfect worktop for your kitchen? Worktops can we be a difficult decision in the renovation process, this is because you have to consider your aesthetic preference, but also the practicality of materials, as well as the cost associated.

A longstanding favourite in luxury kitchens is the granite countertop. At Stephen Graver, it is one of our much loved  surfaces, and this is due to a number of benefits:

  1. Granite counters add value to your kitchen
    Granite is a durable, natural material, that withstands the test of time. As such, when reselling a home it is a feature that is universally recognised as a quality product, and therefore increases the appeal of your home for the long-term.
  2. Granite countertops are durable
    As previously mentioned, it is super tough, which means you would have a hard time scratching or chipping the surface of the stone. A sealer on the stone, applied by a professional for best results, can extend the life of the counter and help it resist stains as well.
  3. Granite is an earth-friendly material
    As a natural material it retains its natural look. There is a vast range of options available, varying in colour and pattern; basic, marbled, or speckled.
  4. Granite resists bacteria and dirt
    Because the surface of the sealed granite countertop is not porous, meaning things will not soak into it, your kitchen is less likely to be plagued by dirt, bacteria, and other grime commonly found on countertops and in kitchens. The smooth, sealed surface also allows you to clean up messes from kitchen prep and spills easier.
  5. Granite is easy to fix in the event that it does scratch or chip
    Accidents do happen, particularly in a busy home, a heavy dish may fall and chip the surface for example. The good news is that Granite can easily be repaired by a professional.
  6. Granite is a family friendly kitchen countertop material.
    If you have every had a real wood surface you will relate to chasing guests around the kitchen with coasters, and using surface protectors for hot pans. With granite, you can relax, it can handle the heat and liquids.
  7. Granite countertops are perfectly flat.
    If you’re a keen baker the smooth flat surface that granite provides will be a real plus, making rolling, cutting and kneading a breeze.

Granite is, without doubt, an expensive investment, but it is just that… an investment. It will outlast most other materials in your family’s home and still look fantastic. That’s not to say it is for everyone, so if you would like to discuss more about choosing the right worktop for your kitchen please do get in touch.

A taste of Wiltshire

We are incredibly fortunate to work and live in such a beautiful part of the country with an abundance of delicious eateries on our doorstep. During the last year many of us have honed our culinary skills in our kitchens, however, the prospect of a skilfully prepared feast is getting us very excited. Many conversations at Stephen Graver revolve around food (and kitchens of course!), and the hot topic is where will we eat out next? With this in mind, we have compiled some of our teams’ favourite places to dine in Wiltshire that we can’t wait to head back soon. 

Photo Credit - The Three Daggers

The Three Daggers – Edington

Located just around the corner from us, The Three Daggers is our ‘local’. With pub, restaurant, rooms, Wood Shed pizza, farm shop and brewery, we couldn’t feel more fortunate to have this on doorstep (we must admit we were knocking their doors as soon as they were open again!). As a chef led business the food and produce is at the heart of everything they do, meaning you can relax and enjoy quality dishes created from handed-picked suppliers.

“With a nose to tail approach to menu planning, we start with the farmer/grower and simply introduce great produce to like-minded ingredients that sing quality & provenance.”

Photo Credit - Pythouse Kitchen Garden

Pythouse Kitchen Garden – Tisbury

Plythouse Kitchen Garden is a hidden gem in Wiltshire, with every aspect revolving around the garden, including the exquisitely seasonal menus. You will dine on the beautiful terrace, overlooking the garden and under the shelter of a spacious canopy or in the sunny conservatory, meaning the whole experience feels very in-touch with nature. Head chef, Darren Broom has crafted a unique style using influences from Scandinavian food culture, the wild ingredients he forages for, British food history and the art of cooking over fire.

‘Darren’s passion lies in producing food with an unmistakable sense of terroir. For Darren, provenance is not just the backstory to his ingredients, it’s everywhere in the look, feel and taste of his food.’

Photo Credit - The Methuen Arms

The Methuen Arms – Corsham

 

Plythouse Located in the heart of beautiful Cotswold town of Corsham, the Methuen Arms offers a delicious variety of award-winning food, Butcombe beer on tap, as well as stunning recently renovated bedrooms.


“Food and drink is at the forefront of everything we do. We’re passionate about local, seasonal and sustainable produce, and source many ingredients from our very own kitchen garden.”


Serving breakfast, lunch, supper, bar snacks and Sunday lunch; there is always something seasonal and delicious to tempt you at The Methuen Arms.

1_The_Beckford_Arms
Photo Credit - The Beckford Arms

The Beckford Arms – Tisbury

 

Established in 1740, The Beckford Arms is a traditional, yet stylish country inn located on the edge of the breath-taking parkland of the Fonthill Estate in Wiltshire. 

“Chef Richard Peacocke and his talented team are committed to cooking the abundance of seasonal produce surrounding The Beckford.”

A charming place to relax and unwind while enjoying the seasonal menu and delights from The Beckford Garden and Meat, game from local farms, fish from the Cornwall coast. Not to mention the alfresco dining and wood-fired pizza on the terrace. You really are spoilt for choice.

We don’t know about you, but we’re off to make some reservations! Enjoy!

Kitchen spotlight – Meadow House

Our clients approached us with a vision of transforming their existing separate kitchen and dining rooms into one open plan living space within their beautiful Cotswold home. There were various items on the wish list, not least an island that would offer practical storage, countertop space, and act as a social anchor point within the room. 

We set to work creating a range of concepts, collaborating closely with our clients, resulting in the final scheme, a marriage of both the contemporary and traditional. The hand-carved shaker cabinetry partnered with engineered oak flooring offer an inviting warmth to the large space – something that our client had expressed as being an important factor. While the modern appliances, including; Miele oven, microwave oven and warming drawer, Wolf induction hob and ventilation hood, and Quooker faucet provide a streamlined appearance with the additional benefit of ease of maintenance – an aspect which was important for our busy family.

 

The contrasting colours within the scheme create a bold warmth, enhanced by the luxurious San Fillipo 30mm granite worktops, highlighting the complimentary tones in the cabinetry. 

As per our original brief, we ensured the design was complete with a show-stopping island totalling three meters in length, providing the practical functionality that our client had wished for, whilst creating a striking focal-point within the new open plan kitchen / dining / living space.

“From our initial meeting with Stephen, we knew his company was the one we would use for our kitchen/dining room project. Stephen came up with some fantastic design ideas and from outset, everything was set-out clearly with transparency for costs and the work to be undertaken and the duration of the project – an 8-10 week project.

We loved that the company would undertake all aspects of the project including project management. All the trades we had on-site arrived when expected and were polite, tidy, punctual, and professional. Their standard of work was excellent, and everyone made what could have been a very stressful time in our lives, to be smooth and painless. 

The quality of the kitchen is exceptional – thank you to the team in the workshop. Our site manager was fantastic and ensured everything ran like clockwork and as a result, the project finished in just under eight weeks. Even all of our appliances were registered with the companies for the warranty/guarantees. They think and do everything. We cannot thank Stephen and everyone who worked on our project enough – we absolutely love our new kitchen/dining room/living area. Thank you!”

Deciding between open shelving, upper cabinets and more

When designing a new kitchen there is often much discussion around whether to opt for upper cabinets, open shelving or to keeping the walls clear. As with most things there are pros and cons to each; we hope this guide will help you choose the best option for you and your home. 

The Grosmont Project

Cabinets

Pros
Offering a vast amount of additional storage in a concealed and streamlined way – as let’s face it, not all our kitchen necessities are aesthetically pleasing – from mismatched crockery sets to unruly Tupperware! If this sounds familiar and there’s not enough floor cabinet space to house these odds and ends, concealed wall cabinets may be the best option for you. Not only do they offer a great deal of storage, but they also enable you to focus on purely the function and usability of items, without the cosmetic and shelf styling consideration that comes with open shelving. 

Cons
Upper cabinets can reduce both light and the feeling of space within a kitchen, particularly if a dark colour is chosen in a smaller kitchen. Furthermore, they can often be a more expensive solution compared with shelving, particularly if they extend to the full height of the ceiling.

The Wiltshire Project

Open Shelving

Pros

Open shelving has become an ever-growing popular trend in recent years, providing storage for much-loved items and creating a personal feel to the space. Open shelves are a more flexible solution than cabinets, you can have as many or as few as you like depending on how much storage you need and the size of the items you would like to store. Furthermore, open shelving allows more light into the room, therefore it may be worth considering if you are planning on adding storage next to a window.

Cons
If you don’t have the time or desire to organise your shelves into aesthetically pleasing displays it could end up being a cluttered space that gives you a headache. There is also the additional maintenance involved with cleaning open shelves and displayed items. 

Tip! 
We encourage our clients to consider displaying items that they will use often and therefore won’t have time to gather dust.

 

Castle House Project

Glass Cabinets

Pros

Offering great storage space for items that you would love to show off without the maintenance of dusting and cleaning that comes with open shelving. Glass cabinetry can also be fitted with lighting to create a great focal feature within the kitchen. There are many glazed finishes available, from clear, to frosted, panelled, or fluted they can really enable you to enhance the overall design.

Cons
As with cabinetry this can be a more costly option, particularly when installed at full ceiling height with lighting. Similarly, if positioned too close to a window, they can reduce valuable light in the room and therefore make the space feel more enclosed.

Oldfield House Project

No Upper Cabinets

Pros
If you can make good use of floor cabinet storage then you may feel that you can remove wall cabinets and shelving, resulting in a much lighter and more minimalist space. 

This doesn’t mean the space will be bare, you can create unique personality with wall-art, tiling, lighting, or you may like the clear space and the bright open space this creates.

Cons
The main drawback is of course storage (or lack of). You may find that if you are incorporating an island into your scheme that this will be home to what was residing in the upper cabinets. Or you may have an additional pantry (this could be existing or part of your new concept) that will provide the space needed to eliminate clutter.

Tip! 
Take inventory of your items and decide whether there is anything you can part ways with. Once you have returned everything to its place consider whether you could live comfortably with the proposed number of floor cabinets on your plan in relation to the full cupboards in your existing kitchen. If it feels a little tight for space, you may wish to consider some of the afore mentioned options to allow for a little wiggle room.

If you would like to discover how Stephen Graver can transform your space, contact our team today: 01380 871746 or sales@stephengraver.com

Kitchen spotlight – Holburne

Our client, a returning customer, had recently moved house, leaving behind a much-loved Stephen Graver kitchen. She was keen to recreate some of the features that she had enjoyed so much in her previous home within her downsized new-build property.

Due to the smaller scale of the kitchen in the new home, creative use of storage was vital in-order to generate valuable space for all the clients’ requirements. We altered the layout of the appliances which included installation of new electrics and plumbing to create a design that would maximise both storage and counter space. We continued the bespoke cabinetry above the door and beyond into the dining area, in turn creating more storage space and a bespoke workspace. 

Our client opted for two-tone cabinetry, including dove grey floor to ceiling units on one side, and magenta units with San Filippo granite on the other. The use of the light grey on the wall cabinets alongside the complimentary light wall painted walls helps to increase the feeling of light and space. The cabinet interiors contain a well-considered combination of drawers, larder, and shelving to provide maximum storage potential. 

As part of the project, we also designed and installed a range of bespoke storage solutions throughout the new home, including a media unit in the living room, bathroom furniture, as well as a storage cabinet for the cloakroom. 

Our client was delighted with the completed project commenting:

“We had a Stephen Graver kitchen in our previous house, which was amazing but circumstances changed and I have moved into a new build property. When viewing my current house, I knew that I would need to replace the kitchen, along with having other storage solutions added. The size of the kitchen is limited and this was a challenge for Stephen to give me all that I required, but once again I have an amazing bespoke kitchen, which also has plenty of storage and is a joy to work in. For me the kitchen is the most important room in a house and therefore it’s important to make it work for the individual, and I now have exactly that.

Stephen also designed a bespoke display unit for the sitting room and added various cupboards throughout the house, giving me the storage that was originally lacking.

The various teams that worked on the different projects were all very polite and professional and at the end of the day the house was always left in a tidy state. All the projects were completed on schedule, within budget and to and to a very high standard.

Having had two completely different Stephen Graver kitchens in five years, I call this a testimony in itself. I would highly recommend Stephen Graver for any high quality, bespoke improvement works required in a property.”

 

Adding colour to your kitchen

At Stephen Graver we love working with our clients to create spaces that are truly unique to their personality and vision of their overall home interior. Spring is a great time to think about refreshing the colour palette in your home. Here are some of our tips on how to add colour into your kitchen scheme.

Splashbacks

A versatile and practical way to create an instant impact to the space. With many options available, including coloured glass, copper, tiles, marble, mirrored and stainless steel. The range of options mean that it’s a great way apply a “splash” of colour or texture to the space. Due to the nature of the of the technique it is also fairly easy to update should you wish to refresh the scheme.

Cabinet doors

A traditional way to add colour to the kitchen is with the cabinet doors. There are endless shades available which will allow you to be creative when choosing your finish. 

There are so many possibilities to add your own style to the space. You may choose to have all the cabinets one colour, wall cabinets neutral and a feature tone for the floor units, or you may opt for one wall of cabinets to be a feature colour. It may be worth considering a solid wood door which will provide the flexibility to re-paint in the future should you wish.

Island

An ever-popular option is to create a statement with a feature-coloured island. Due to the island being the natural focal-point you many are opting for a bold contrasting tone to emphasise this central anchor to the space.

Appliances

Gone are the days when we are limited to the colours of our appliances. We love the variety that can be found with premium brands such as Aga and Lacanche. From bold to pastels, neutral and traditional there is something to suit all schemes.

Cabinet Interior

A fun way to inject some extra personality into your kitchen is by adding a pop of colour to the cupboard interiors. You may wish to choose a feature colour that you have already used within the space, or it could be an opportunity to add a flash of colour to a neutral space. 

When it comes to colour, the possibilities are truly endless, and at Stephen Graver we love nothing more than working with you to create a scheme that is reflective of you and your families’ personality; because we understand that it is not just a kitchen, it is the setting and heart of many special occasions and moments.  
If you would like to discover how Stephen Graver can transform your space, contact our team today: 01380 871746 or sales@stephengraver.com

Designing your outdoor living space

As we welcome back the longer days and warmer weather, we can begin to dust off the garden furniture and prepare our outdoor spaces for some long-anticipated gatherings with friends and family. More than ever our gardens are the places where we will be able to gather and enjoy the season; but how do you utilise your space to create a retreat that enhances your outdoor experience?

Create Zones

Whatever the size of your outdoor space it is important to consider where the sun will be throughout the day. The most popular time of day to entertain outside is the afternoon through to sundown, therefore it’s worth reserving this sunny spot as your outdoor kitchen-dining area. If there’s a shadier area you may wish to consider a garden building that could serve multiple purposes; from home office, to gym or cosy snug to retreat to once the sun goes down.

Outdoor Kitchen

At Stephen Graver we have witnessed a rise in the popularity of the outdoor kitchen; applying the same principles as when designing an indoor kitchen to create the ultimate outdoor experience. As with your home kitchen it is important to consider the flow of the space, including plenty of food prep zones, storage, and cleaning equipment to create a ‘kitchen from kitchen’. If you are planning to have refrigeration and washing facilities, you will need to factor this into the plan to allow for plumbing and electric installation at the beginning of the project. 

Pools & Pool Houses

If space is of a premium, now is the time to create the pool and pool house that you have been dreaming of. On a balmy summers’ day there is nothing that can compare to plunging into your own private pool and entertaining your guests from the pool house. With holidays’ being an uncertainty this year, there is no better time to consider this luxurious addition to your home.

If you would like to discover how Stephen Graver can transform your outdoor space, contact our team today: 01380 871746 sales@stephengraver.com